Too often I hear people say, “Oh, I would really love to do that, but I just don’t have the time.” The other night at a seminar I heard a guy say, “I don’t have the time to cook healthy meals.” Well I’m here to tell you that you do have the time. You just need to manage it for what really matters in your life.
Of course to do that, you have to determine what does really matter to you. In the Western hurly burly lifestyle this seems to get lost in the laundry right along with the matching sock. What ends up happening is that we stack our plates too full of things that don’t really matter.
To know what matters to you, pretend that you only have three days to live. Who would you call? How would you spend those three days? Would you say to yourself, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to die, I must get the dishes done and the floor swept?” “Would you spend your time making a budget or grocery shopping or preparing a report or writing a to do list? That brings us to the first step in your new time management life.
Step 1. Take the time to identify those things and people in your life that matter to you the most. This list begins your new paradigm for managing your time. These things come first because they are the most important.
Step 2. You’re going to make a second list of things that really matter to you, but don’t involve your imminent death. The things on this list might include your career dreams and fun things you want to do.
This list fills in the bulk of time not devoted to list #1
I’ll share with you my list so you get an idea. My primary list (# 1) includes the following:
- Make sure I show my family and friends how much I love them.
- To make my final passing (remember for this list I only have 3 days to live) doesn’t cause unnecessary stress on those left behind to handle my final affairs. Write a list of where important documents can be found such as my will, titles to property, funeral arrangements, etc. Note: If you haven’t taken care of this, it’s important. Do it now.
My secondary list is as follows:
- Take good care of the body in which I reside by eating the right foods and getting enough exercise.
- Use my writing skills to grow a business that makes a difference in the world by offering an abundance of high value information to help to make the lives of others happier and healthier.
- Set an example by being a more compassionate person.
- Continue my studies of the great thinkers and philosophers.
- Make a second trip to Costa Rica for fun and to better understand the stress free and happy lifestyle of the people.
Once you have created your lists, you can manage your time around your priorities. For instance, in my case setting aside time for family and friends is a priority. The dishes in the sink can wait. Answering my cell phone when I’m spending time with those I cherish can also wait (I usually shut it off or leave it home). Every week time is set aside for this top priority time expenditure.
As for list number 2, I budget in time for each of the items on the list. That means figuring ways to eat healthy and exercise (a top priority item on list #2). I then set aside the time to read the works of great thinkers and copious amounts of time to research and write.
I can almost read your mind as you think: Okay, that’s all well and good, but how do you have the time for all those day to day tasks that need to get done? Ah, I thought you would never ask. I’m assuming you mean tasks like doing the dishes and laundry, shopping, paying bills and so forth. I fit those tasks in the cracks of time I have left. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 15 minutes here and there throughout the day. I also devote half of Saturday to those things. The back half of Saturday is reserved for doing fun things I enjoy as is all of Sunday.
You have to remember, that every breathing human being on the planet has the exact same number of hours in a day. Each of us must choose how we spend that time. We can manage our time in such a way that we’re always focusing on the things that are important and really matter to us or not. It’s a choice.
Quick time saving tips you already probably know:
- Combine trips – gas up car, grocery shopping, post office (one trip, saves gas too).
- Plan menu, create shopping list – saves time at store and helps prevent impulse buying
- Get a dog if you work from home like I do – Misty sees to it that I get exercise every day.
- If you watch TV at night, do menial tasks during commercials.
- Create quick to fix meals that can be frozen – This is a wonderful time saver
Hey, I’ve shared some of the ways I manage my time based on what really matters to me. Now it’s time for you to help. If you have some tips and tricks, share them so everyone can benefit.
Now go have fun and relax.